Thursday, February 26, 2015

Anxiety Down, Stubborn Up

Licorice had Tuesday off because I had a busy day.  Wednesday, he was happily grazing with his girlfriend when I arrived.  They both looked up when I came over and Licorice let me pet his face.  But then they wandered off.  I followed and waited until I got Licorice's attention.  He decided he'd rather stay with his girlfriend, so I just followed them around for about five minutes, making it clear I wasn't going away.  Licorice looked up and I swear he gave a huge sigh and an eye roll while he waited for me and stood still while I haltered him.

We started out with walking and walking.  We were both zeros on the anxiety scale, so we went ahead and went into the barn.  Licorice is in the smaller front barn(I swear I will get barn tour pictures soon) which was a bit dark with the lights off, but not in a scary way.  We walked in and went to the cross ties.  I asked Licorice to take a step back and stand.  He stood for a minute, but then something got his attention and his head flew up.  So, off we went for more walking down the lane.

Well, our anxiety went down but when we got back to the barn, Licorice said No Thank You.  Not in an anxious way, in a stubborn piglet kind of way.  He just planted his feet and said no.  So, we zigged and we zagged and we walked and walked but he still said no.  I got a little frustrated and just made him do a quick moving of his hindquarters both directions.  Still, no go.  Then I just reverted back to the old leadrope wack on his blanket.  He walked in, though he was not happy.

We went back to the crossties and stood there for a few minutes.  I even hooked them on.  For some reason, I'm ridiculously uncomfortable using crossties on a rope halter.  I think someone must have told me that you should never, ever use crossties with a rope halter.  But Licorice really needs the rope halter right now because he can be so barge-y when he's anxious.  We stood there for a few minutes and I knocked some mud off his face.  He started to fuss in the crossties.  I don't think he was anxious, I think he was just bored.  But it made ME anxious and our new thing is to be a unit, so off we went for a walk.

When I tried to get him back in the little barn for a third time, he didn't want to go again.  I managed to get him in, but it didn't feel like we were a unit.  We walked up to the upper barn, where someone getting out of their car scared Licorice into a full on spook and spin.  What was fantastic was that he did it and then we just walked and we both calmed down very quickly.  He was much better about going in and out of the bigger barn.

We finished up with one more trip into the little barn and then he got to back out with his girlfriend.  I have another lesson today, which is great since I want to find out what's going on with not even wanting to go into the barn.  Backwards is not the direction I want to go.  :)

1 comment:

  1. It is dangerous, it was probably me lol because I had a bad accident that way. Can you use a chain? Or use a leather halter over the rope one.